Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
rob + = email

2011 February 18 • Friday

Charles Burns's new Tintin-inspired work, X'ed Out, has a parallel or alternate life as Johnny 23.

The cover recalls the Tintin adventure The Black Island, much as the X'ed Out cover was a riff on The Shooting Star.

Inside the book you'll find material that's in X'ed Out as well as material that is, as far as I know, unique to Johnny 23.

Sometimes the panels are in reverse order, as in the bottom three of the color page and the top three of the black-and-white page. (Johnny 23 is in black and white, X'ed Out in color.)

The code is pretty easy. After translating the first few pages (and finding a few typos), I was intrigued to discover that the text of the two books is pretty different. So what's the deal with this?

I picked up the Johnny 23 book at Desert Island in Williamsburg. Desert Island produces a free comics newspaper called Smoke Signals, in which Johnny 23 has also appeared.